By: Shirley Brosius
Publisher: Howard Books
Publication Date: October 2006
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: May 20, 2009
If you’re in need of an uplifting story, have had a bad day and want a little inspiration, or simply wish to read about woman who inspire, then you should consider getting a copy of Shirley Brosius’s book Sisterhood of Faith. This book is chock full of short stories about inspiring women, both famous and somewhat obscure, who made a difference in the lives of those around them.
Brosius has carefully selected a broad assortment of women, from all aspects of life, who changed the world in many different ways. Each profile includes the person's date of birth and death, a quote from Scripture related to the theme of the person's life, what her service was, her message, her story (a biography highlighting the important aspects of her life), and the author's response, which is always a question about how the reader can improve her life. From Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, who advocated education and felt woman could “…best serve their country by being good wives and mothers in the home,” to Harriet Tubman, an amazing African American born into slavery in 1820 who led over 300 slaves to their freedom, these profiles are sure to inspire the reader.
Sisterhood of Faith is not merely a book to inspire; it also educates. With three or more comprehensive paragraphs detailing each woman’s life, you’ll come away from this text understanding much of the history surrounding each featured life. Did you know that Florence Nightingale was a meticulous record keeper and was able to determine, through her notes, that “seven times more men died from disease than from their original injuries...”; that Condoleezza Rice played piano at a Baptist church; Mother Teresa received her calling from God while recuperating from tuberculosis; and that Dale Evans Rogers wrote several books detailing the losses she experienced and that both she and husband Roy refused to remove religious songs from their routines?
It is also fun to pick special days in your life, birthdays, anniversaries, etc., and see who Brosius has chosen for that day. I admit to peeking ahead while reading to July 17th, my birthday. How appropriate that Mary Lyon was featured, the founder of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in Massachusetts, now known as Mount Holyoke College, an institution right down the road from my home. I was also fascinated to find Anne Hutchinson listed, a distant relative, who fervently taught the Bible and was ridiculed and forced to leave her home more than once, but still stood by her beliefs.
A review of Sisterhood of Faith would not be complete without mention of the beautiful job the publisher did with the layout. From the lovely pink ribbon bookmark to the small thumbnail pictures at the bottom of every other page (pages within the same month share the same picture for easier navigation within that month), this is a lovely book. There is also an extensive bibliography included to aid readers in researching those women they found most interesting. The care that was taken when this book was put together will add to a reader’s enjoyment. One small suggestion would be to change and enlarge the font used for the names at the top of each page – they’re a bit difficult to read, particularly for the over 40 crowd.
Quill says: A wonderful book that will challenge you to do more with your life.
For more information on Sisterhood of Faith, please visit the author's website at: Shirley Brosius.com.